179 E. Industry St.

Giddings, Texas 78942

979-540-2700 phone

979-542-1816 fax

September 2017

What a great year this as been. It seems to be flying by. As I watch the television and see all of the strife and division in the country, I am even more glad that I am in Giddings, Texas. This community is one that bands together. After the recent Hurricane Harvey, people and businesses came together to put on a concert at the Giddings Fireman's Park. That all day event raised over $23,000 for flood victims in our local communities. Rockdale Country Ford donated a match of $10,000 to the event. Last week Meals on Wheels had a very successful BBQ Cook Off with lots of good food to raise money for their organization. Fedor FD fish fry coming up. In a couple weeks, you can go to the Diabetes Awareness event and hear some great music and eat some amazing food, while helping their cause. The giving here is amazing and unlike any other community I know. People who say there is nothing to do aren't looking hard enough.

It seems every week there is a benefit for fundraiser out here for someone or something. People in Giddings work together in so many ways. Regardless of race, religion or social status, we bond together. Do we have our haters? Sure, every community does. But the good far outweigh the bad in this city. I was honored to be asked to speak at a black church in Giddings (Short Chapel African Methodist Episcopal). While I stood out in the crowd, and my Baptist background kept showing, I was welcomed like I was family. We worshipped and celebrated together, and had dinner together. Were we all the same? Of course not. We aren't supposed to be. To some snickers, I was clapping like Steve Martin in The Jerk (rhythm is not a gift God granted me). I wasn't offended. I know I don't have rhythm. Did we all agree on everything, or see life from the exact same perspective? In some cases, probably not. But I don't believe anyone in that church even thought twice about what church I go to, or what color my skin was, or who I voted for. Our perspective was on what we had in common and why we were there, not the negative stuff. Not that the negative stuff is ignored, but I choose to spend my energy on the positive. Isn't that the way it should be?

It's time for we as a people to take personal responsibility for ourselves. You cannot fix the rest of the country if your own heart isn't right. And, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."  I hear people say, "Well if they (whomever "they" is) wouldn't be like that, I wouldn't have to be like this." This is an excuse. Stop worrying about your response to others' behavior and focus on doing the right thing. You do the right thing, not because someone deserves it, but because it's the right thing. You will find that your stress is so much less, and your life easier.

I hope that these words echo in your life. Have a blessed day. Please call on me if I can ever be of service to you.